Woah there, Mr. Speedy. We’ve barely caught up with the 10Gbps Thunderbolt interconnect, debuted in the new Macbook Pro, and now Intel’s hyperactive researchers are already chattering away about something five times faster. They’re promising a new interconnect, ready in four years, that will combine silicon and optical components (a technology called silicon photonics) to pump 50Gbps over distances of up to 100m. That’s the sort of speed Intel predicts will be necessary to handle, say, ultra-HD 4k video being streamed between smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and TVs. Intel insists that poor old Mr. Thunderbolt won’t be forced into early retirement, but if we were him we’d be speaking to an employment lawyer right about now.
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